Karnataka HC Declares Ex-PM Deve Gowda’s Grandson Prajwal Revanna’s Election Null and Void


The Karnataka High Court on Friday declared the election of Ex-PM Deve Gowda’s grandson and JD(S) Member of Parliament, Prajwal Revanna as null and void.
Additionally, a single bench of Justice K. Natarajan rejected the plea by A. Manju, who had contested in the elections from the Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) but was unsuccessful, to be declared the returned candidate in place of Mr. Prajwal.
The Court stated that it could not declare Mr. Manju as the returned candidate as he too had engaged in corrupt practices.
The single bench delivered the verdict while partially granting the petitions filed in 2019 by Mr. Manju and one G. Devarajegowda, a voter from the Hassan parliamentary constituency.
Prajwal Revanna, the grandson of JD(S) patriarch and former Prime Minister H D Deve Gowda, was the sole candidate from the party to win the Lok Sabha elections in Karnataka in 2019. Manju, who contested the Lok Sabha election against Revanna on a BJP ticket and lost, later joined JD(S) and currently serves as an MLA.
The petitions alleged that Revanna engaged in election malpractice and failed to declare his assets to the Election Commission. Justice K Natarajan delivered the operative part of his judgment on Friday.
“Both the election petitions filed by the petitioners are allowed in part. The election of the returned candidate, Respondent No 1, namely Prajwal Revanna alias Prajwal R, Member of Parliament, Constituency 16, Hassan (General), having been declared as the returned candidate dated 23.5.2019, is hereby declared as null and void,” the single bench stated.
However, the court dismissed the petitioners’ request to declare Manju as the winning candidate as he was “involved in corrupt practices.”
“The prayer of the petitioners in both the cases to declare A Manju as the returned candidate is rejected in view of the findings that he himself (is) involved in corrupt practices,” the bench noted.
The single bench further directed the Election Commission to take action against Prajwal Revanna, his father H D Revanna (MLA and former minister) and brother Suraj Revanna (MLC) for election malpractice.
“H D Revanna and Suraj Revanna are named in the complaint under the Representation of People’s Act for having committed corrupt practice at the time of the election and also A Manju, who is also involved in corrupt practice. The Election Commission should issue a notice and comply with the Conduct of Election Process Rules,” the bench directed.
The petitions claimed several examples of malpractices as well as Prajwal’s failure to declare assets. It was alleged that Chennambika Conventional Hall was worth at least Rs 5 crore but was declared as worth only Rs 14 lakh by Prajwal. Another example was the bank balance in an account declared as Rs 5 lakh but allegedly having a deposit of Rs 48 lakh. It was also alleged that the MP had several assets in the names of benamis and had committed “income tax fraud.”